The Low Carb Luxury Online Magazine 

    October 7, 2003    PAGE EIGHT      
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      Content Links

 News & Product of the Month
 The Morality of Sugar
 Finding Your Motivation
 Jo Cordi's  Lifestyle Series
 Brenda's Low Carb Good Life
 Raiding Spaces
 Autumn Goodness: Pumpkin!
 Taking Stock of your Life
 Cooking with Jarret Hughes
 Obese In The Workplace
 Reflections on a French Kid


Sugarfree TWIST

       As The Years Roll Past... by Aaron Gillum

Aaron Gillum's views of society, tempered with a quick wit and an acerbic writing style, make his columns both fun, and unique. With each issue, Aaron offers a fresh perspective into the catalysts that drive society; weaving these observations into refreshing, provocative pieces.

                                          "We drive into the future using only our rearview mirror."
                                                                      Marshall McLuhan

Having celebrated a birthday last month, I've begun to question my life and myself with a bit more scrutiny than ever before. I've often read about "milestone birthdays" filled with mid-life crisis sports cars and facelift reflections on mortality.

I never would have expected it, but I've had a bit of that thinking myself. I'm not struggling to understand my eventual death, as you might first expect. Rather, it's my present-day life that concerns me.

You see, I never expected to make it 30 years of age. I thought it much more probable that I'd find an irresponsible way of doing myself in long before this day. I tried — believe me. Between crashing cars and flipping motorcycles, it's a wonder I didn't realize my own self-fulfilling prophecy.

No, I didn't flatter myself by romanticizing James Dean fantasies of living fast, dying young, and leaving a beautiful corpse. But I can count many times when I wasn't sure I'd still be alive in the next second. A few times, I've actually taken a split second (often in mid-air) to come to grips with the fact that "I'm not going to be getting out of it this time." I wasn't chasing a death wish, but I had figured it was even money on random chance (or my own stupidity) taking me out long before I ever had to deal with "The Big Three-Oh." As I look back, I find I have to face some hard questions.

And in some strange way, I was glad... but why?

Without any thought toward "The Future," you're completely free to simply enjoy the moment. You needn't worry about planning for your retirement. Nor must you concern yourself with trivial matters like health insurance, credit rating, grades, the stock market, or even the effects of that last cigarette. In fact, without a future, your mind is not taxed with considering consequences at all.

In other words, you never have to grow up. Adulthood begins; after all, at whatever age you begin planning your life beyond the next month.

Now that I've made it this far in life, I pause to take a good look around me… It seems as if much of my generation has acted the same way as I. What most called Gen-X apathy and laziness should more accurately have been described as fatalism. I see it in my friends and peers every day. It's not that we don't care about ourselves… about the world around us. But we are far too aware of our own insignificance to even pretend we have any control of the big picture. We are; after all, mostly hollow with a few sub-atomic particles thrown into the soup for good measure. We live in a solar system that is mostly empty space, within a galaxy that is mostly empty space, within a universe that is almost a complete void if viewed on a large enough scale. Does that make it hard to worry about whether or not your tie is straight, or is it just me?

I actually try not to think about it. But it seems I cannot help it… no matter how hard I try. I'm on a big ball of mud that spins at over 1,000 mph, all the while racing around an out of control nuclear explosion at 66,000 mph. No matter what I could ever do... Win the Nobel Prize, cure cancer, or even push the button that starts WWIII, I cannot change the fact that eventually that fireball in the sky will wink out and everything we know and have created will no longer exist. Empires will have risen and fallen, fortunes will have been won and lost. But in the end it all returns to chaos. Take comfort, my fellow Nihilists, in the fact that you couldn't possibly ever truly "break" anything that is already plunging headlong toward such an unwavering fate.

The challenge then that each of us face, is to carve out some sort of meaningful micro-life from this gigantic mess of insignificance. We have to find our own reasons to get up in the morning, and no reason is more correct than any other. Be it God, country, money, family or any other motivation you might choose, as long as you are conscious about what makes you tick, you've already done the hard part. It's unfortunate that so many people merely exist when they could be living instead. They run through the motions of today only because yesterday's momentum pushes them forward.

I believe I've found my own personal catalyst… I want to watch the leaves fall as the weather continues to crispen. I need to see the first strands of green contrasted against the snow as winter turns to spring. I need to travel. I need to meet new people and have interesting conversations with them. I need to jump out of a plane. I need to stand at the edge of the Grand Canyon. Put simply, I need to experience.

The meaning of life, as I see it, is to appreciate these things. There's no need to tack on egotistical importance at all.

Perhaps there is a grand plan with a specific role I'm supposed to act out, or maybe this entire universe is a random accident that formed a playground solely for my amusement. There appears to be exactly the same amount of evidence supporting both so until the scales tip one way or the other, I'm going with "Playground."

But enough about me... You've all listened to me wax philosophical long enough. Let's turn this around for a change. Let's talk about what makes you get out of bed right *here*.

Copyright © October 2003  Aaron Gillum and Low Carb Luxury

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